Border patrol agents seized more than 400 counterfeit hand-sanitizing stations in International Falls Port of Entry.
According to a news release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers on Monday targeted a rail container bound for Ranier, discovering Android hand-sanitizing stations that were in violation of intellectual property rights regulations.
The CBP seized 440 of these stations, which would have had a retail price of $1.047 million had they been genuine.
“Counterfeiting adversely affects the ability of lawful copyright holders to profit from their original ideas. Counterfeiting also harms consumers because manufacturers of forged products have little motivation to use safe, high-quality materials in their products," said Anthony Jackson, International Falls Port Director.
Jackson said CBP is focused on intercepting counterfeit merchandise, noting enforcing trade laws at ports of entry is a "high priority" for them.
Enforcing intellectual property rights takes a multi-layered approach, CBP says, which includes seizing illegal merchandise at the border, pushing the border "outward" through audits of suspect importers, cooperating with international trading partners and collaborating with industry and government agencies to enhance their efforts.
In 2019, CBP and its partner agencies seized 27,559 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights, totaling $1.5 billion if the goods had been legitimate, CBP's website says. Watches and jewelry were the most common items seized last year.